realtybizideas banner

Boeing’s Starliner Capsule Successfully Launches with NASA Astronauts

Boeing's Starliner Capsule Successfully Launches with NASA Astronauts

Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft carrying two NASA astronauts, Barry “Butch” Wilmore and Sunita “Suni” Williams was eventually launched into orbit from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station after numerous delays. This mission is the first time that humans have been sent into space using the Starliner, a commercially constructed capsule. Approximately twelve minutes post-liftoff, the capsule successfully reached orbit and initiated a 25-hour journey to the International Space Station (ISS).

The path to this successful launch has been fraught with challenges because the Starliner faced two prior launch attempts before this successful mission. An issue with flight computers halted the countdown just minutes before liftoff on Saturday. The launch provider, United Launch Alliance (ULA), had to replace a power supply before clearing the system for Wednesday’s launch. A problematic valve on the Atlas V rocket’s upper- stage Centaur led to another postponed attempt. Boeing also encountered a helium leak in Starliner’s propulsion system, which was a critical issue that required thorough data reviews and fixes before NASA felt confident to proceed.

Boeing’s journey to this milestone has been arduous when compared to its commercial space transportation rival, SpaceX. Whereas SpaceX has already completed nine missions for NASA and four private flights.

Though the spacecraft has the capability to fly independently, the astronauts will be testing manual controls, life support, and communication systems. Their mission is inevitable for certifying the Starliner for future operational missions. The crew will spend approximately a week aboard the ISS to conduct various tests. On completing these tasks, the crew will return to Earth and land with the help of parachutes in the southwestern United States. This mission’s data will be meticulously analyzed by NASA and Boeing teams before

NASA plans to alternate astronaut flights between Boeing and SpaceX in order to make scheduled trips to the ISS approximately every six months.